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Ankara strong backer of South Stream

MOSCOW, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Ankara won't do anything to undermine Russia's interest in developing the South Stream natural gas pipeline through its waters, a Russian official said.

Turkey aims to become a major energy hub with new agreements to host part of Europe's planned Nabucco gas pipeline and Russia's alternative, South Stream.

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Yuri Lipatov, a top lawmaker on a Russian energy committee, said that despite support for both projects, Ankara was still a solid partner in South Stream.

"The European Union member states will not give up on gas via the South Stream and Turkey will not take any decision that will harm Russia's interest," he was quoted by Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet as saying.

He went on to describe delivering natural gas from the Caspian region as unsound, an assault to the Nabucco project, which would rely on non-Russian gas supplies.

Moscow landed a recent deal with Bulgaria to host a section of the South Stream pipeline through southern Europe. Russian energy giant Gazprom, meanwhile, is working on feasibility studies for pipeline construction through the Black Sea.

South Stream could move more than 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to European consumers each year by 2015.

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